Beginners Spanish Podcast 21- Help with QUE in Spanish

For any serious student of the Spanish language, asking; “What does QUE in Spanish mean?” is probably one of the most fundamental questions that they seek answers to!

Not long after you begin your learning journey, you begin to notice the worrying frequency in which QUE, or QUÉ, or LO QUE, for that matter appear in whichever text or exercise you are working through. With this realisation comes certain trepidation as we begin to ask ourselves if we will ever really understand it properly.

The Good News.

The good news is, however, that it’s not as difficult as it might first seem. Basically, QUE in Spanish is what you might call the cement that joins the bricks of your words and sentences together. It is, literally, everywhere in both written and spoken Spanish, and yet its meanings are not as diverse as you might imagine.

Here, it is important to state clearly that having a command of this word is so fundamental to your Spanish that it would be folly not to pay special attention to this podcast. It’s not a one-time listen and probably deserves a number of listens until you have the ideas firmly implanted in your mind. In the ten minutes that we cover this subject we cover all of the main uses of QUE in Spanish and in what contexts you would use them, something which is very important to any student of Spanish.

Some of the meanings of QUE.

So, what does QUE in Spanish mean? Well, it can mean, THAT, it can also mean, WHICH, it can mean, WHAT as a statement and WHAT? as a question. Sometimes Spanish speakers use QUE in place of WHO, also.

A Curious use of QUE.

One of the more confusing uses of QUE is when a speaker begins a sentence with it!

e.g. …que mañana voy a llegar un poco más tarde.

Although the sentence starts with QUE, it would translate like this:

I’m going to arrive a little later tomorrow.

So why do they put a QUE at the beginning?

Well, it’s almost as though the front of the sentence is missing and that what they really wanted to say was:

Quería decirte que… = I wanted to tell you that…

So, instead of saying the whole sentence, for quickness they skip the beginning and start at the QUE.

This isn’t something that we would suggest you use right away, however, now that you are aware you can listen out for it. Only, this time, you won’t be confused about why a Spanish speaker is starting their sentence with QUE.

Extra Help.
As well as the video and the podcast that comes with this lesson, we offer our helpsheets that assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of how to understand and use this important word.
You can be sure to have the question, “What does QUE in Spanish mean?” answered fully and completely. All Helpsheets come with full explanations and exercises to check that you have understood the information we offer you.
For those who have more questions than answers, feel free to ask for a one-to-one session on Skype in which we can clear up any doubts or misunderstandings you have.

Video for This Spanish Lesson

Audio for This Spanish Lesson